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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - The federal agency that oversees two popular rivers in southern Missouri is trying to balance the competing needs of preservationists who want more environmental protection against nearby property owners fighting for less government regulation.
   Paddlers, partiers, boat owners and other outdoor devotees have long flocked to the spring-fed Current and Jacks Fork rivers. The two bodies of water make up a national park known as the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
   The National Park Service is updating its management plan there for the first time in three decades and held a series of public hearings and meetings in January. The agency's preferred alternative would close 65 miles of undesignated horse trails and unauthorized stream crossings while also adding restrictions on the use of motorized boats.
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 03:49
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   It looks like Local Harvest Grocery and its two cafe restaurants will stay in business, at least for now.  
   The owners tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they met their goal Saturday evening, raising the $120,000 they needed to pay off debts that had threatened to shutter the business.  Patrick Horine tells the paper that he and partner Maddie Earnest are "stunned," by their customer's support.  
   Last Monday the pair had appealed to customers on Facebook and Twitter, offering customers punch cards and gift certificates that would be redeemable over the next two years in order to cover debts left over by their failed venture in Kirkwood.  They needed the cash by February 7th.  Horine says they had it by 8 p.m. Saturday.
   Local Harvest focuses on working with farmers and vendors within 150-miles of St. Louis to sell and serve mostly organic, locally produced goods.
   After reaching their goal, the owners posted this to Facebook: "We, the owners and the Local Harvest staff, feel a deep responsibility to our community – even deeper than before – after this outpouring of support. We all understand how important our success is and we are going to come through for you, just like you have for us."
 
Monday, 03 February 2014 02:50
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TROY, Mo. (AP) — Just in case the unthinkable ever occurs, authorities in Lincoln County, Missouri want school staff, teachers and students to be ready if someone with a gun ever enters the building.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department has conducted active shooter drills at 13 schools since August. Lieutenant Andy Binder says the program has helped develop new policies for how both teachers and police respond to threats.

The exercise is an example of active shooter response training and is part of a program for schools established by a new Missouri law.

Sunday, 02 February 2014 10:00
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — More than 80 Missourians are serving sentences of life without parole that the U.S. Supreme Court says are unconstitutional because they were juveniles at the time of their crime.

A Missouri state senator has introduced legislation that would allow those 83 people convicted of first-degree murder to receive a new sentencing hearing.

The measure would allow those older than 16 to serve life without parole or a 50-year minimum sentence. Offenders younger than 16 could also spend their lives behind bars or be eligible for parole after 35 years.

In 2012, the high court said states can't automatically impose life without parole sentences for juveniles. It said states must account for differences between juveniles and adults when sentencing them for murder.

Sunday, 02 February 2014 09:51
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis man is in custody, accused of holding a woman captive for three months and repeatedly sexually assaulting her.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Clifton Wilkes is charged with sodomy, kidnapping, rape, assault, and several misdemeanors.

Police say that the victim went to Wilkes' apartment on October 15. She told investigators that she woke up the next day in his bedroom. She was missing her pants and the door to the room was locked. The victim says that over the next three months she was raped, choked, and punched. She was beaten so severely that she lost a tooth.

The Post-Dispatch reports that the victim was able to escape the house on Wednesday. She ran to a neighbor's home for help, but Wilkes broke in and took her back to his apartment. 

Wilkes is now held on a $500,000 bond.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 09:05
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon has set an August 5th special election to fill three vacant Missouri House seats.

Nixon announced the House election dates Friday, but he did not call for a vote to replace Senator Ryan McKenna, who he appointed in December as the state labor director.

The 120th House District has been vacant since Republican Jason Smith of Salem resigned in June upon winning a special election to Congress.

The two other House seats opened up in December. Democratic Representative Steve Webb, of Florissant, resigned while facing criminal charges. Republican Representative Dennis Fowler of Advance resigned when Nixon appointed him to the state Board of Probation and Parole.

The special election announcements come as Nixon is facing a lawsuit seeking to compel him to call the elections.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 09:02
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri man accused of plotting shooting attacks at a movie theater and a Walmart has been found guilty.
 
Polk County Prosecutor Ken Ashlock said Blaec Lammers was convicted Friday of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Judge William Roberts on Thursday threw out a charge of making a terrorist threat. Lammers agreed to allow a judge to hear the case without a jury present.
 
Ashlock said Lammers told authorities he originally planned to open fire on the opening-night crowd for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2" at a Bolivar theater in November 2012. He then opted for the Walmart because he could get more ammunition there.
 
Lammers was arrested after his mother told police she feared he was planning an attack.
 
Sentencing is scheduled for March 20.
Friday, 31 January 2014 16:41
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - One of Missouri's largest labor organizations has hired a former Republican House Speaker as a lobbyist.
 
The Missouri AFL-CIO hired Steve Tilley this week as the labor organization prepares to combat "right to work" measures this year. The legislation would prohibit labor contracts from requiring that all employees pay union fees.
 
Tilley was first elected to the House in 2004 and became Speaker in 2011. While in that office he shied away from "right to work" and said it was not part of his agenda.
 
He left the House in 2012 to become a lobbyist when term limits barred him from seeking re-election.
 
"Right to work" is a top priority this year of House Speaker Tim Jones, Tilley's successor. Jones says Missouri needs the policy to compete for jobs.
Friday, 31 January 2014 16:40
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - University of Missouri athletics director Mike Alden says the school's initial response to news reports of a former swimmer's suicide could have been handled better.
 
Alden told reporters in interviews late Thursday that he expects Missouri to learn from Sasha Menu Courey's death and use it to bolster its student mental health services rather than "trying to defend" its actions.
 
The interviews mark Alden's first public comments on the case. Missouri curators voted Wednesday to approve an independent legal investigation.
 
Menu Courey killed herself in June 2011 in a Boston psychiatric hospital soon after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and two months after an earlier suicide attempt while still at Missouri. Her reports of a 2010 rape by several school football players are now under investigation by Columbia police.
Friday, 31 January 2014 16:36
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A note for residents in parts of Pevely.

 

Officials issued a boil order through the weekend. Water is fine for bathing and cleaning, but should not be used for drinking.

 

The city's website states: “A boil order has been issued for those residents living south of Main Street (south of the railroad tracks) and east of I-55, including Pevely Heights Subdivision. Boil any water which is to be used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, etc until Monday February 3rd."

 

More information is available at the city's website.

Friday, 31 January 2014 16:00
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